Liverpool picked up a narrow 2-1 win over Ajax in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.
Liverpool were beaten in their group opener against Napoli, and they were under a lot of pressure coming into this contest. Jurgen Klopp’s men were determined to pick up their first European win of the season, and the German manager will be relatively pleased with the performance of his players against the Dutch outfit.
Liverpool seemed a much-improved unit against Ajax, but they were made to work hard for the three points. Egyptian international Mohamed Salah open the scoring for Liverpool in the first half, but the home side were pegged back almost instantly courtesy of an exceptional finish from Mohammed Kudus.
After that, both teams had a chance to take the lead, but Joel Matip headed in the winner in the 89th minute to secure a priceless win for the Premier League side. Here at the Hard Tackle, we look at how the Liverpool players fared on the night.
Alisson Becker: 7/10
The Brazilian was one of the few players who came away from the Napoli game with his head held high, and he produced another impressive performance in between the sticks for Liverpool on Tuesday. There was nothing Alisson could have done for the Ajax goal, but it was his impressive long-range passing that resulted in the opening goal of the game for Liverpool.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6.5/10
The English full-back had a relatively solid outing at the back, and he will be relieved to have improved on his showing against Napoli last week. Alexander-Arnold dealt well with Steven Bergwijn, and he tried to create chances for his teammates going forward as well.
Joel Matip: 9/10
The experienced Liverpool defender showed exactly why he needs to start ahead of Joe Gomez. He was the best player on the pitch against Ajax. Matip kept things simple at the back and broke the lines with his accurate passing. He also headed in the winning goal of the game in the 89th minute.
Virgil van Dijk: 7.5/10
The Dutch international had a poor outing last week, but he managed to improve considerably. The return of Joel Matip certainly helped him, but van Dijk looked assured at the back and produced a couple of important clearances.
Kostas Tsimikas: 8.5/10
Another player who deserves an extended run in the starting lineup. The Greek left-back has been pushing for a starting berth for a while now, and Andrew Robertson’s injury handed him a much-needed opportunity on Tuesday.
Tsimikas did not disappoint at all and produced one of his finest performances for Liverpool. The left-back was solid defensively and dealt well with Dusan Tadic. He also influenced the game going forward and created the most number of chances in the match. It was a corner from Tsimikas that resulted in the winning goal for Liverpool.
Kostas Tsimikas created more chances than any other player against Ajax (5).
— Squawka (@Squawka) September 13, 2022
Harvey Elliott: 6/10
The young midfielder tried his best to influence the game with his creativity and incisive passing. However, Elliott did not have the desired impact, even though he worked hard in the midfield and kept the play ticking.
The Brazilian midfielder did well to break up the play and regain possession for his side in the middle of the pitch. He was ably supported by his midfield partners.
Thiago Alcantara: 8.5/10
The Spanish international showed exactly why he is the best midfielder at the club by some distance. Thiago was at the heart of everything positive on the night, and Liverpool will need him to stay fit if they want to do well this season.
? Thiago Alcantara vs Ajax:
? 89% pass accuracy
? 2 tackles won
? 1 interception
? 7 duels won
? 100% dribble completion rate
? 100% long ball completion rate
? 1 chance created
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) September 13, 2022
Mohamed Salah: 7.5/10
The Egyptian will be delighted to be back amongst goals once again. Salah opened the scoring for his side in the first half and helped create chances for his teammates throughout the contest. Salah worked hard on the right-hand side and will be looking to build on his performance in the coming weeks.
Diogo Jota: 7/10
The Portuguese international was handed a start here after his cameo against Napoli, and he did not disappoint. Jota was instrumental in creating the opening goal, and he linked up well with the likes of Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah in the attack.
Luis Diaz: 6.5/10
The Colombian was outstanding against Napoli last week, and he put on a reasonably good performance against Ajax on Tuesday night. Diaz did well to stretch the opposition defence with his movement and flair. He will feel that he could have got on the scoresheet.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
With the scores level in the 66th minute, Jurgen Klopp decided to bring on the Brazilian to affect the game in the final third. However, Roberto Firmino did not have the desired impact despite working hard and trying to create chances for his teammates.
Darwin Nunez: 5/10
Nunez was brought on to score the winning goal of the game with approximately 30 minutes left on the clock. He was handed a glorious opportunity just a few minutes into his cameo, but he failed to find the back of the net.
James Milner: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Stefan Bajcetic N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.